Practical Implications of Current Domestic Violence Research: For Law Enforcement, Prosecutors and Judges

Published June 2009

Chapter 6. Prosecution Responses

Section  12 — What does adoption of no-drop policies actually mean?

The most comprehensive study of model no-drop prosecution programs, including several that received large Justice Department grants, found that no-drop policies meant that approximately 30 percent of cases brought by police were screened out, but most of the remaining cases proceeded. Even when victims were not present at the time of trial, prosecutors typically were still able to proceed with 60 to 70 percent of the cases. [196]

Implications for Prosecutors

Although Crawford v. Washington further inhibits domestic violence prosecutors, the dramatic increase in successful prosecutions, with implementation of specialized domestic violence prosecution programs, suggests that most prosecutors should be able to significantly increase successful prosecutions but perhaps not as much as documented in these pre-Crawford studies. (Research basis: Multiple studies in disparate jurisdictions before the U.S. Supreme Court decided Crawford.)

Date Created: June 5, 2009